Media spending forecasts from Magna, Zenith and Group M

Magna raises 2019 forecasts

Magna raised its 2019 forecast for global advertising growth to 4.7 percent from 4 percent, as the macro-economic environment is expected to remain strong in most of the top advertising markets (United States, China, India), according to an announcement.

The company forecast U.S. advertising growth to slow to 2.4 percent, mostly due to the lack of cyclical events such as elections. Excluding the effect of cyclical events in 2018 and 2019, underlying ad spend will grow by 4.5 percent in 2019, compared with 5.3 percent in 2018.

Almost two-thirds of digital ad sales (62 percent) come from impressions and clicks on mobile devices (mostly smartphones). Mobile ad sales grew by 32 percent in 2018 while desktop-based ad revenue shrank 2 percent because of ad blocking and lower inventory.

Magna bases its forecast on net revenues of media companies instead of media spending by advertisers, the metric that Zenith and GroupM use.

Magna’s U.S. Market Forecasts

Net Advertising Revenues 2018
Size ($ m)
2018 Growth 2019 Growth
TOTAL OFFLINE 96,433 -4.8% -4.1%
National TV (incl. CE) 42,852 1.2% -3.1%
National TV (excl. CE) 42,105 -0.5% -1.5%
Local TV (incl. CE) 21,810 10.5% -16.3%
Local TV (excl. CE) 18,607 -4.1% -4.4%
Print 14,973 -16.7% -17.6%
Radio 13,232 -4.2% -4.5%
OOH 8,091 3.4% 2.4%
TOTAL DIGITAL 107,027 16.5% 12.2%
Mobile 70,662 30.5% 21.2%
Desktop 36,365 -3.6% -5.2%
Search 47,800 16.1% 12.5%
Video 13,147 25.8% 19.5%
Social 30,103 32.9% 21.9%
GRAND TOTAL (incl. CE) 208,149 7.5% 2.4%
GRAND TOTAL (excl. CE) 203,460 5.3% 4.5%

Zenith forecasts slower growth in 2019

Publicis Groupe’s Zenith forecast global advertising expenditure will grow 4.5% by the end of this year, boosted by the Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup and US mid-term elections. Growth will then remain steady and positive for the rest of our forecast period to 2021, at 4.0% in 2019, 4.2% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021, according to an announcement.

Amazon will benefit from the growing market for e-commerce ad spending in the United States. E-commerce advertising is more established in China, driven by investments by e-commerce platforms like Alibaba. E-commerce advertising has risen from 0.8 percent of all adspend in China in 2009 to an estimated 18.2 percent this year.

GroupM cuts 2019 forecast

GroupM, WPP’s media buying group, slightly cut 2018 growth estimates from 4.5 percent to 4.3 percent. 2019 growth projections were also lowered from 3.9 percent to 3.6 percent, with total new investment anticipated to reach $19 billion instead of $23 billion predicted earlier, according to an announcement.

Rising interest rates, China’s slowing economic growth and possible trade wars were cited as reason for the lower estimate.

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